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Newbie: should I apply from home, or just show up?

 
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Violet85



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:46 pm    Post subject: Newbie: should I apply from home, or just show up? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

my apologies if this has already been covered, I have read through many past threads and have not seen my answer.
I am newly graduated (B.A. Fine Art) with a TEFL certificate (online) and a little classroom experience. I have my eye on HK as I want to experience Chinese culture, but am a little apprehensive about mainland China because of the censorship etc. Also, I have a friend currently living in HK, who has offered to show me around, and put me up until I've sorted my own accommodation (lucky me!)

My question is this: would I be better off applying for jobs from London, or simply arriving in HK and applying? it seems that many employers want to meet a candidate in person before considering them.

I have seen similar enquiries from people with more quals/experience than me, but I feel the answer may be different in my case, as I will be more than happy with entry-level kindergarten work, which I understand is easier to find than University positions and the like.

All advice appreciated.

Many thanks,

Violet
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oxi



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 325
Location: elsewhere

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better if you can get work before you come and sort out work visa - so try. Salary range probably not going to break 20K monthly. More likely 15.

If you wait till you get here, you'll have visa issues and can choose to work illegally on a tourist visa, or leave once you have a job (to Macau for example) and come back in on a work visa.

If you had no accommodation, I say don't come without a job - it's very expensive to hang around here looking. But since you have that sorted, it's possible.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 777
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Oxi that ideally you'd have a job lined up before coming. But, on the other hand, your chances of getting a job would be hugely enhanced by actually being here, with the added advantage that you can see the place you'll be working and meet the boss (and maybe other staff) before signing up. There's also the fact that it will soon be the best time of year to look for TEFL jobs - late August and September. The downside is yes, it's expensive kicking your heels in this city, but as you have a friend to live with I'd probably advise packing your bags fairly soon.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course it would be better in theory to have a job and visa sorted out before your arrival, but in practice there will be very few places prepared to offer a position to someone with little experience and few qualifications on the basis of a skype interview. You will get a lot more response from employers if you are already in town, or can give them a date when you will arrive. There's nothing illegal about looking for a job while here as a tourist; the problems start if an employer wants you to start work before your employment visa is processed.

Please note that an online TEFL is worth nothing in HK; it might be worth a bit more if you look for a job in mainland China.

Unless you expect to be teaching for the long haul - in which case you'll grit your teeth, tighten your belt and do a PGCE or recognised CELTA or similar before coming - you do realise that in HK you're pretty much restricted to working at a private language centre...

Yes, it is expensive to live while looking for a job, and getting your own accommodation once you've found one also needs a significant amount of money. To make the most of limited earning capacity, I suggest looking at jobs in centres with branches out in the New Territories, where flats are a lot cheaper than they are on HK island or in Kowloon.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 777
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sistercream wrote:
Unless you expect to be teaching for the long haul - in which case you'll grit your teeth, tighten your belt and do a PGCE or recognised CELTA or similar before coming - you do realise that in HK you're pretty much restricted to working at a private language centre...


Very true! If you can afford it, it'd make sense to do the CELTA now - it would pay you back within a year or two. And a PGCE opens up the 'proper' jobs, though it's understandable if you want to test the water before making such a commitment.
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Violet85



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many, many thanks for all your help, everyone.

Unfortunately I don't have the funds to do a CELTA at this time, I intend to do it as soon as I am able, perhaps after finishing my first year in HK. I know the TEFL isn't worth much, but it's all I could afford right now and I felt it was better than nothing, it at least refreshed some things in my mind.

I have seen positions advertised at Deborah Kindergarten and a couple of others, who require little more than a degree a bit of experience. I would be happy doing a year in one of these places for 15-20k per month, as it would allow me to save for the CELTA, and add much-needed experience to my CV. If I land one of these jobs and it turns out to be a nightmare, then I guess it will be no problem for me to quit and find something else, particularly as my friend is around and I'm not in any danger of ending up homeless!

I thought I was cutting it pretty fine by aiming to apply mid-July, but maybe employers will be getting more desperate as it approaches September... we shall see.

One more thing: have any fellow Brits been required to have their documents apostilled/ authenticated? A friend teaching in South Korea told me this was a very time-consuming process for him, I'm hoping I won't have to go through it.

Thanks again for all your input.

Violet
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get everything stamped and stamped again. paperwork has to be as thorough as possible and it is a freakin headache.....
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Headache it might be, but not nearly as much of a headache as it is just about anywhere else in Asia Very Happy And ImmD officials here are polite, do not accept bribes, and do the job in the time they say they will.

I've not actually needed to have anything apostilled, authenticated or stat. dec'd for the authorities in Hong Kong. The only thing is if you have documents which are in neither English nor Chinese, you will need authenticated translations.

Violet, there's a reason places like Deborah are always advertising for staff, and it has nothing to do with the school year ... but regarding Deborah's, I've heard it depends very much on which branch you end up at. I wonder if staff still have to wear those uniforms??
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Violet85



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read through previous posts about Deborah and although it doesn't seem ideal, most weeks they only require you to come in on weekdays which is something I value highly, and they pay well. I understand the working conditions vary between branches, and will ask whereabouts the vacancies are- if they want to place me somewhere with a bad rep, I can say that it's too far from my accommodation and hopefully they will offer somewhere different- if not, there are more places hiring. I'm hesitant to be too picky, due to my lack of quals and experience!
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: re: already in HK? Reply with quote

Quote:
You will get a lot more response from employers if you are already in town, or can give them a date when you will arrive. There's nothing illegal about looking for a job while here as a tourist; the problems start if an employer wants you to start work before your employment visa is processed.


Is there anywhere to get concrete info on this? I met a brit who was teaching part time, but it seemed a bit dodgy to me.
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